SWABI - Unidentified gunmen shot dead two male polio vaccinators in Kandaro Banda, Pabbini village of district Swabi, on Sunday, the third day of the ongoing anti-polio campaign.

SP Dr Mian Saeed said the two male polio vaccinators were attacked by two gunmen in Kandaro Banda, Pabbini village. As a result, both of them died on the spot.

“We have arrested four suspects and investigation is under way to know the entire picture,” he said. “The gunmen who were on foot fired on the polio vaccinators with pistols,” he said.

The deceased were identified as Aziz Muhammad and Muhammad Shiraz Khan. Aziz was a sweeper in Basic Health Unit Jhanda and Shiraz a teacher at Government Primary School Pabbini.

After the gory incident, all the teams were asked to reach their homes at once, suspending the campaign till further orders. The bodies of the volunteers were shifted to the district headquarters hospital.

It has been learnt that the police were not providing security umbrella to the victims. The police officers said the deceased did not seek security cover.

It was the second attack on anti-polio vaccinators in the district. On January 29, a police constable who was providing security umbrella to the two female polio vaccinators was gunned down by militants in village Neat.

Monitoring Desk adds: Just hours after two volunteers on a polio team were killed in Swabi, polio workers in the city were granted permission to carry their own weapons for security purposes.

Talking to a private TV channel, District Police Officer Mian Muhammad Saeed said that vaccinators administering polio drops in the district would be allowed to carry weapons to defend themselves.

“This will be only for the vaccinators for the duration till the campaign lasts,” he said, adding both male and female workers will have permits for weapons issued to them.

Saeed further said that around 20 suspects had been rounded up after the incident, as it was not the first time health workers had been targeted in the area.